Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Dual : A love-hate experience

Box

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is an attractive mid-range 5-inch HD display Android smartphone with the main striking features like being Waterproof certified with IP65/IP68 rating. A shooter with primary 13 megapixel camera and 5MP selfie front camera. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octa-core 64-bit clock at 1.46Ghz. And it has a 2-day battery life and support Dual-sim card. Last but not least it actually comes with NFC which is proudly printed on the back cover. Shortfall was no LTE/4G (not available in all markets) for the Dual variance.

After reading many impressive reviews and going through the local Sony website on Xperia M4 Aqua, I went ahead and got one all for $220 which is almost half the price of the flagship Xperia Z3. What a good buy, right? Wait a minute!

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With much excitement and enthusiasm, I unboxed it quickly, admiring the built of the phone. And I went on to plug-in my sim-card, I realized it wasn’t the mini-sim as shown on the images on the product website. Anyway, that’s not to worry about, after all being an avid iPhone user, I always get the nano-sim, so I just have to inset it without the adaptor.

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Next, setup the phone for initial usage. The screen resolution looks sharp and crisp. Went on to update the Google Play Store and install the popular social networking apps like Whatsapp, Viber, Line App and a few more. And that’s when it started giving all memory warnings. Hell no! I have used 85% of the device memory. What?! I have not even update the preloaded apps on the phone and I already getting these warnings. Alright, no doubt it comes with 8GB of storage (16GB is no currently available), but I just could not comprehend the scenario. Well, first thing first, deleting the preloaded apps. The result, I managed to delete a few Launcher rather than an app which is a few tenths of megabyte, that I gained. What choice do I have other than to plug-in a memory card. Knowingly well enough calling an app will be much delayed from the SD memory allocation. Now, I have to jiggle with app size to download as I have very limited space to deal with. It is kind of silly due to the limitation of memory usage, literally speaking, you have approximately 2.89GB of memory available, for your apps, photos and other media. The Official Sony Product website is very misleading to small print which I extracted from http://www.sonymobile.com*****The M4 Aqua Dual has 3 GB of free memory (before you update preloaded applications) available to the user for downloaded applications and their data, music, pictures and movies while the device has up to 8 GB of flash memory in total.” which I found is not correct, as I reset the M4 Aqua to see the real truth to Sony’s claim. Reading between the line, I am pretty sure Sony is well aware, should the “Preloaded Apps” were updated, the device storage will shrink with little or no space for other user apps to be installed, other than to move most the apps to the SD card.

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All images have not been edited or Photoshop and “as it is”. (Click to see full size)

Verdict:

  • Nice build
  • Camera is good for a mid-range phone
  • Audio is quite good and loud
  • HD screen is sharp and crisp
  • Waterproof, but the headphone jack did went haywire when submerged in the pipe water
  • Battery life not consistent
  • Network signal not really reliable
  • 8GB is definitely not enough and not a selling point
  • Overall performance is sluggish

Thoughts:

I am a bit skeptical about the Snapdragon 615 especially the over-heating glitch and etc, while a few devices manage to work around the problems. The Xperia M4 Aqua does feel hot at times and having a just 8GB simply is not helping since the Android 5.0 (Lollipop) Operating System file is occupying more than 4.00GB of space plus the preloaded Sony related apps which does not give an option to delete is really squeezing the good user experience to the max. Xperia M4 is in line to receive this crucial Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS update with the memory management but will it help?

With all the bloatware (pre-installed apps) on Android’s openness by cellular carriers and phone manufacturers often make the experience worse for it users, and that thin line separate iOS devices user and making iOS platform a premium and maximum user experience, without bloatware.

© 2015 Felix Senada. All rights reserved.

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